New Earthworms Discovered in Gobi Desert

Posted on April 13, 2013

Eisenia nordenskioldi mongol


Two new sub-species of earthworms, Eisenia nordenskioldi mongol and E. n. onon, have been discovered in the Gobi Desert. E. nordenskioldi mongol's name is derived from the region of discovery. A line drawing of Eisenia nordenskioldi mongol is pictured above. The name E. n. onon was inspired by the Onon River in Outer Mongolia, where Genghis Khan was born and grew up. The research was published here in ZooKeys.

These newly discovered worms are not dangerous like the legendary Mongolian Death Worm. The local population refers to it as olgoi-khorkhoi. The cryptid is said to be able to project acid that can kill humans and corrode metal. It is two to five feet long and has a dark red body with no head. Legend also says it can kill by electric discharge. Some believe that if olgoi-khorkhoi is real it is probably just a type of Amphisbaenidae.

Image: Robert J. Blakemore